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Congress Approves Trade Deals

October 16, 2011
The House and Senate both approved three bilateral free trade agreements with the countries of Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. AGC supported approval to increase demand for construction services and keep costs low for components, materials, and manufactured goods. Each of the trade deals voted on passed by wide margins, rarely seen in this Congress. The deals will now be sent to President Obama, where he is expected to quickly sign them into law. The deals would enter into force later this year. The three deals together comprise the largest free trade deal since the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993. AGC sent letters of support to both the House and Senate, calling for passage of all three pacts. AGC firmly believes that trade promotes U.S. economic growth and must play a role in alleviating the pressure of this recession. Significant increases in exports will enrich U.S. companies, in turn fueling demand for new facilities and the transportation and water infrastructure to support them. Increases in imports also benefit the economy by significantly lowering prices on materials and goods used throughout the construction process. Opening up new international markets is also key to the survival and growth of many of the crucial support sectors of the U.S. construction industry, such as manufacturing, materials, equipment, and services. When the domestic construction industry recovers, these sectors will be critical to sustaining and maintaining that recovery. AGC will continue to support expanded free trade to protect the health and future growth potential of the construction industry. For more information contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or berrys@agc.org.
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